Birmingham: Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu stayed on course for an elusive gold medal while Laskhya Sen entered his maiden final at the Commonwealth Games here on Sunday.
Sindhu rode on her technical superiority to outwit Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min 21-19 21-17 in a 49-minute contest to reach her second successive final.
In the following match on the show court, Sen, the world number 10, lost his way after a dominating start against 87-ranked Jia Heng Teh of Singapore.
Sen, however, recovered to complete a 21-10, 18-21, 21-16 win in the men’s singles semifinals.
The 20-year-old relies on relentless attack to put his opponent on the backfoot and he was able to do j?ust that in the first game. A couple of forehand smashes on the Singaporean’s right helped him take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The momentum shifted towards Jia in the second game as he slowed the pace of the game. A drop shot followed by a backhand winner made it 8-8 before he went into the interval with a 9-11 advantage.
A slew of unforced errors from Sen saw Jia take the next five points to make it 9-16. Sen tried to hang in the game but after the Singaporean took a shoe change break at 15-18, he was able to level the match when the young Indian hit a forehand long.
Sen built an 11-7 lead in the decider though Jia made the Indian work hard for every point. The Singaporean was also given a last warning for delay in between points.
Sen got four points and converted the first one with a deft drop shot that set up a backhand winner.
“I didn’t get in the rhythm in the second but I managed to pull it off in the end. The crowd support also helped a lot in the first game,” said Sen.
Earlier, former world champion, Sindhu, who has a silver and a bronze from the 2018 and 2014 editions, was clearly the better player on display as she kept a firm grip on the match.
Sindhu seemed a bit restricted in her movement with the achilles of her left leg strapped. The Singaporean played some good-looking shots to make it 8-4 early on but she allowed the Indian to draw level.
Sindhu entered the break with a two-point lead after producing a straight drop.
The Indian depended on her technical acumen, producing the right shots at the right time to surge ahead.
Yeo Jia Min was too erratic to put any pressure on Sindhu, who moved to 19-12 with a perfect net shot.
The Singaporean used her cross court slices to trouble the Indian, making her move diagonally to reduce the gap to 16-19. But a forehand return going to the net from her gave Sindhu three game points, and she converted it on the third attempt.
It turned into a seesaw battle in the second game with the two playing some intense rallies, but Sindhu ensured that she had her nose ahead at the interval.
A wide return and one going to the net put Sindhu two points away from the final. Then Yeo going long gave Sindhu five match points. She squandered two before unleashing a pitch-perfect body smash to secure her place in the final.